So in our next installment in Viking boatbuilding we take the planks that were previously cleft, rough hewn and planed and trial fit them to the boat. Each and every board is different and is an exact replica of a particular board on the original ship. This is the office with the masterplan and to the left you can see scaled versions of each plank.
are then turned into full scale plans which are taken out to the rough
planks, drawn around and the profile cut out. This is Jan finishing a
plank before trial fitting for the first time. Most planks have raised
sections which will be used later for lashing the ribs to.
Next we take these simple but very effective clamps
along the plank I bend it to shape whilst Jan applies the powerful
clamps, once the base of the board is clamped tightly we can twist the
outside edge to check it will take the correct shape. It is not so much a
bend as a twist in each board that gives the boat it's shape. You can
see here the clamp with the rope is pulling the bow end inwards and the
stern end is pulled outwards and downwards giving about 15 degrees of twist on this board, it will get a little more later.
we were happy with the trial fitting and had done any final rough
shaping the board went into the steamer for 1 hour 20 minutes. When it
comes out you have about a minute during which it moves very easily and
then a couple of minutes for fine adjustment so everything has to be
planned and to hand and everything happens quickly.
the time the plank Jan and I had been working on was ready in the
steamer it was already dark, it starts going dark at 3.30pm we did have
big floodlights to work under sorry about dodgy pic quality.
the plank is in place and Jan is just tweaking the final line, you can
clearly see the twist with the two ends of the plank being maybe 20
degrees out of line. We took the top and bottom corners 10mm further
than they will end up expecting them to relax slightly when the pressure
is taken off.
the board stays in place overnight after which time it's shape is set,
it can be removed and very precise fitting work done, planing the joint
to that it fits without the slightest gap. Once that is done it's time
to rivet it in place, and that riveting, the whole essence of clinker
boat building, is the next post.